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Friday, December 12, 2008

Comfort Food on the Coast

Even paradise has to endure some rain and cool weather once in a while. It is easier for me to talk about it with the knowledge that next week our temperatures will be in the mid-sixties. Recently our weather choices have been cool and clear or warm and wet. Those are not my favorite choices since the wet is rain instead warm salt water on my toes. We did finally get back to warmth today in spite of dodging rain showers all afternoon and evening. Around 5 PM a particularly strong band of showers had darkened the sky, and convinced my wife and I that it would be a great night to find a cozy restaurant over on Emerald Isle.
A December rainy night often makes one want to curl up on the sofa, but rain at sixty five degrees is not much of a threat. That is especially the case when your uniform is almost always beach casual.

When you have lived away from your home turf most of your adult life as we have, comfort food takes on a special meaning. When we were younger, I think we leaned more towards what our mothers cooked when we came home on college breaks.

Our children, who are grown, still enjoy a grilled cheese sandwich with Campbell's Tomato soup when the pantry is almost empty and the kitchen is about to close. That is often the case on their visits since they never seem to arrive before 9 PM.

As we were driving over the bridge to Emerald Isle, we knew that the area favorite for comfort food, chicken and pastry, would be hard to find since it is usually a lunch item.

While we have moved around North America, I have always adapted my comfort food to the region where we were living. In Nova Scotia, I became very partial to homemade clam chowder. Sometimes I even give in and make it myself.

When I worked in northern Virginia, I enjoyed a particular ethnic kabob restaurant as a spot to warm my soul and stomach.

In Roanoke, Va we have a neighborhood diner that serves a pot roast dinner every Thursday night for $4.99. That is an evening meal at a price that would be hard to find here on the coast even in December.

As I am thinking about that particular meal, I am reminding myself that the weather forecast for Roanoke on Friday December 12 is for some snow. I long ago decided that avoiding snow was worth the cost.

One of our new favorite foods since moving to the Crystal Coast is grouper. I love it cooked just about every possible way that it can be prepared.

Once we had decided on grouper, we headed for Chowdaheads, a small sandwich shop on the Island. Since the rain was pouring down, we had the restaurant to ourselves.

Our grouper sandwiches were delicious, and I will also admit to getting some of their homemade potato chips or Chowdafries.

As we headed home in the rain,I decided that a grouper sandwich qualifies as an evening comfort food on Emerald Isle.

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